The Builder Ch. 04byCathleen©
Nick’s car was in the driveway when she arrived and she took a deep breath before heading inside. She was going to let him in, she had to, and she knew she was in love with him but her stomach was so tight, what if he decided to let things go, let her go? Julie’s voice smiled when she came through the door and called out a greeting.
“Nick? Hi there, where are you?” Julie let out that long breath she’d been holding. She wanted to get this over and done with now, she didn’t know if she could keep her courage up for a long time.
“Hi sweetheart.” Nick came to the front door and gathered her into his arms and kissed her sweetly on the cheek. Julie in turn kissed him hard on the mouth, pressing herself to him, wanting to never leave his embrace.
When they walked through the foyer into the living room Julie saw the dinning table set with candles and roses. Her surprise was evident and she turned to Nick with a tear in her eye.
“Oh no, there will be no tears tonight. Tonight is for us to relax and enjoy, no talking about anything distressing. Just us being us.” He took her hand and kissed it as they went to the kitchen bar for a drink.
He took her hand again and lead her outside, the two just sat with each other quietly, taking in the beauty of the evening and the unspoken love between them. As the summer sun set he mentioned dinner, and the couple made their way inside to the kitchen. They moved about easily as they pulled everything together. Nick had forgotten nothing as usual and they sat to enjoy their salads, there was no talk about yesterday, they just enjoyed themselves being together.
“Nick, I want to tell you something.” Julie was cautious, her stomach in knots.
“Sweetheart you don’t need to say a thing, remember tonight is to relax.” It wasn’t that he didn’t want her to say anything but he didn’t want her to feel she had to. Plus he didn’t want to fight and the potential was there he knew.
“I know, but I just have to say you are right. There is a place inside me that I don’t let you see. I talked with Trisha today and I know now I want to share that with you. I want to tell you what is there.” Julie was nervous, this could go well or she could shut back down.
She told him all about that place, even describing what it looked like to her. She told him what she sees in its place now. What happened, when, all of it; she let everything out, the abuse, the fighting, the chaos and hell, no holes barred. She told him why she was scared to need him, why she fought his love and that she needed his help. Nick listened intently and quietly. When she was done she let out a long breath. She waited for him to say something, anything, but he didn’t. Instead he took her hand and kissed it. Well that did it, the flood gates were about to open she knew and Nick noticed her eyes filling with tears.
“Julie, I love you. With all my heart I love you. I want to be with you always, anywhere and everywhere. There is nothing you can tell me that will change that, I love you.” His voice was calm, he was calm and he hoped she’d remain calm. She didn’t, the tears came falling down like a summer thunderstorm. She tried to tell him she loved him too, but her words were muffled and she was all a stutter from crying.
“Sweetheart, it’s ok, relax. I know what you are trying to say. You love me too.” She was shaking her head yes as her tears came streaming down her face.
He moved to her and pulled her to him. His arms enveloped her and her tears and she let them flow and he did nothing to stop them. He knew she needed to cry it out and each tear was like another invitation inside her hidden place. He knew all about that place before she told him. Trisha had called him earlier in the day and confided in him, knowing her sister loved him. He assured Trisha that he loved her sister and thanked her for calling.
Nick cried that afternoon too, not because of what was in that place but for the woman she was despite it. He knew he was in love with her but after that phone call he loved her as if his life depended on it. So now with her in his arms crying he wanted to let her know he wasn’t going anywhere, he was right there with her and he wasn’t going to leave. He felt her tears just as he felt them last night but tonight they weren’t keeping him out, they were allowing him in. Nick stroked her hair and held her until he felt no more tears falling onto his chest and then he leaned back to look at her.
Julie’s eyes were slow to lift to his but they did and she saw him looking at her with a tenderness she’d never known in her life. He smiled and she followed. He kissed her gently on her lips and she followed. He kissed her harder and longer and she followed. When she looked up at him she saw a smile so wide she thought she could live inside it forever. A final stuttering sigh left her mouth.
“I love you Nick. I love you so much, I am sorry about ……”
“There is nothing to be sorry about Jules.” He held her tighter. “I am glad you let me, you have given me a special gift, thank you.”
They stayed in their embrace holding on to each other, neither wanting to let go ever. It was the moment of their togetherness, started with a tear and sealed with a kiss. Julie was overwhelmed by his love of her, he only wanted to sooth her, letting her know that real love existed and they had it. They whispered their love to one another and knew nothing could intrude on this moment.
Well, maybe a little something. They heard the buzzer from the kitchen; they slowly broke their embrace and headed to the kitchen. They found themselves scooting around each other, pulling the dishes out, having to bump the other out of the way, it was all non-verbal and they laughed softly. When Nick was in her way again she bumped him to move, he didn’t. He looked at her with a grin, almost a smirk.
“What?” She blurted, “What are you grinning about? I need to get to that cabinet.”
“I know, you can reach it, I don’t have to move. Go ahead, get the bowl.” Not only was he grinning but now even his voice seemed to be playing with her.
“Oh, so that’s how you want to play it, well fine. I will.” Julie reached over him trying not to touch him but knowing there was no way, she was going to lose this round in their playful dance.
She stood on her tippy-toes and tried to reach around but lost her balance and fell into him. She had to grab him to keep from falling, he grabbed back. He held her with her back arched and her head falling away, the classic kiss pose and smiled his evil grin at her.
“Right where I want you my dear. Are you a damsel in distress?” His voice was accented playfully.
“I suppose you think you are here to save me, you know me Nick, I don’t need help!” The laughter coming from her was louder then the words she tried to speak.
Nick was laughing so hard he almost dropped her and she clung to him all the more. It was just what she was feeling in her heart too. He pulled her up and met her half way with his mouth. He kissed her as she’d never been kissed before. His mouth covered hers and he searched for her tongue with his, pulling it into his mouth as if to claim her. They straighten and kissed passionately, long and wet, the kiss spoke volumes to each of them. Both knew what the other was saying with the kiss, they came together in that one kiss.
When she pulled back, both were breathless. His eyes showed her the future and she in turn smiled with hers to let him see inside. She took his hand and led him to the bedroom. Dinner sat on the counter and neither looked back.